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Key rail bridge linking Ivory Coast-Burkina Faso collapse

Key rail bridge linking Ivory Coast-Burkina Faso collapse

Ivory Coast

Rail traffic between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso has been stopped for at least two weeks after a bridge linking the two countries collapsed, the operator has said.

Nobody was injured when a bridge over the River Nzi close to Dimbokro in central Ivory Coast collapsed and officials are inspecting the damage before starting repairs, said Christmas Kouadio, security manager at the Ivory Coast railway service.

“At this stage, it is difficult to quote a figure in term of loss or damage. We will do all the audit and know exactly what it is going to be there in term of loss,” said Christmas.

“I would like to clarify that an investigation will be launched to assess the circumstances of the accident in terms of what was the cause and then we will advise on the next move,” he added.

The Ivorian government has announced the reconstruction of the bridge that is estimated to cost £400 million to ensuring a resumption of rail traffic, which would take at least a fortnight.

It will be several months before the trade route between the two countries is fully restored, said Sitarail, a unit of the Bollore group.

Burkina Faso exports cotton and manganese to Abidjan along the 1,260-km (780-mile) railway and imports oil, cement, merchandise and fertilizer to the town of Kaya.

The railway was built by French colonizers to link the port city of Abidjan with Niamey, Niger, via the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou in 1910.

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